What does Workplace Burnout mean in 2022?

What does Workplace Burnout mean in 2022?

What does Workplace Burnout mean in 2022?

Up until 2019 workplace burnout has always been called a stress syndrome. However, in 2019 the World Health Organisation (WHO) update their definition of the condition.

The WHO now describe burnout as “Syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

The term burnout can often carry a stigma and some people may feel ashamed for needing help and may fear that taking time away from work to focus on themselves isn’t feasible and will often result in people believing they overcome burnout by “Working Harder” or just “Working through it and neither of these are the right way to deal with burnout.

There is hope that the change in definition by the WHO will help to remove the stigma that comes with the term “Burnout”.

So, what is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress and overworking. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.

Burnout can reduce productivity and sap your energy whilst leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful.

The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life including your home, work, and social life. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu. Because of its many consequences, it’s important to deal with burnout right away.

Most of us have days when we feel helpless, overloaded, or unappreciated, when dragging ourselves out of bed requires a lot of determination. If you feel like this most of the time, however, you may be burned out.

Burnout is a gradual process. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can creep up on you. The signs and symptoms are subtle at first but become worse as time goes on. Think of the early symptoms as red flags that something is wrong that needs to be addressed. If you pay attention and actively reduce your stress, you can prevent a major breakdown. If you ignore them, you’ll eventually burn out.

We all experience times in our daily lives that are challenging, painful, scary, and difficult to manage and endure. There will be times when we feel sad, angry, embarrassed, stressed, regretful, tired, burnt out and possibly many other unpleasant emotions. Workplace burnout can be daunting and you may feel hopeless, but, rest assured there is a range of things you can do to help yourself.

Here are some top tips for handling workplace burnout

Evaluate your options

Discuss specific concerns with your Line Manager. Maybe you can work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions. Try to set goals for what must get done and what can wait.

Seek support

Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends or loved ones, support and collaboration might help you cope. If you have access to an employee assistance program, take advantage of relevant services.

Try a relaxing activity

Explore programs that can help with stress such as yoga, meditation, or tai chi.

Get some exercise

Regular physical activity can help you to better deal with stress. It can also take your mind off work.

Get some sleep

Sleep restores well-being and helps protect your health.


Mindfulness is the act of focusing on your breath flow and being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling at every moment, without interpretation or judgment. In a job setting, this practice involves facing situations with openness and patience, and without judgment. 

Are you concerned that your employees could be dealing with symptoms of burnout or other elements of poor wellbeing? If so, Fusion Occupational Health can offer a completely free workplace wellbeing needs analysis that provides you with a corporate wellbeing action detailing how you can drive an improvement with workplace wellbeing in the following areas:

  • Wellbeing Culture
  • Employee Engagement
  • Employee Productivity
  • Talent Retention

For more information, please contact info@fusionoh.com